A FLAGSHIP Southampton school has lost its outstanding status.

Bitterne Park Secondary School has been downgraded to ‘good’ by inspectors following a visit last month.

The school’s leadership and the behaviour of pupils are still rated as outstanding but the school just missed out on retaining the top status after not enough lessons observed by inspectors were deemed to be outstanding.

The achievement of pupils has remained good across the board.

Executive head teacher Susan Trigger said she was disappointed but said the outcome showed how rigorous inspections were.

“It was just a few lessons that let us down, that is what cost us. The inspection still recognised our outstanding features, including leadership, which means we still have the ability to continue to be a teaching school.”

Due to the reputation of Bitterne Park Mrs Trigger has been involved in helping to improve a number of schools in the city including Chamber-layne and is currently overseeing improvements at Regents Park.

She and her senior leadership team have also been working with schools in Ports-mouth.

She said: “I understand the argument that time is being spent away from the school. I think there may well be something in that, but that is part and parcel of what we have to do to continue to improve standards for all.”

Inspectors said of the school:

  • Students’ behaviour in lessons and around the school is outstanding. They are courteous and polite and arrive at lessons on time and ready to learn.
  • Most students achieve well. They make good progress from their starting points in most subjects.
  • Teaching is very well managed and teachers are committed to their own professional development.
  • Governors provide very strong leadership, they support and challenge the school effectively and have a positive impact on the quality of teaching and students’ achievement.

It was the first time the school had undergone an Ofsted inspection of its sixth form which was also rated as good.

In order to regain its outstanding status inspectors said more teaching needed to be outstanding and that the gap between the achievement of students receiving additional funding and other students needs to close faster.